Patient Testimonials

See what others are saying about their experience at Clarke Chiropractic and Wellness:

Susan McGrath: Insomnia, Brain Fog, Fatigue, Malaise, Depression, SIBO:

The following story illustrates a journey to better health utilizing an approach based in functional medicine.  It is a journey that includes ups and downs, progress and set-backs, thinking outside of the box, and patience with the approach based upon the acknowledgement and understanding that the body does not operate as isolated systems; but rather as one intertwined, interconnected unit.

Susan presented to our office in April with a list of concerns.  Some of these were focused on typical musculoskeletal issues, and others focused on her overall quality of life.  More appropriately put by Susan on her intake paperwork, her reasons for the visit included,” generally feeling unwell, insomnia, fatigue, brain fog, and a lack of vitality.”  Patient expressed a desire, “to feel better generally, have a zest for life, and not be so tired and lethargic all the time.”  These issues that had been plaguing her to some degree or another for 5 years and she was looking for a natural and holistic approach as she couldn’t seem to turn things around.

Our collaborative efforts began in April with dietary modifications and subsequent targeted supplementation based upon her history and symptoms.  One of her main concerns, the dreaded brain fog lifted rather quickly and we both were excited for continued progress.  When we re-grouped after a month the brain fog was lifted, fatigue and insomnia were slightly improved but still present, and the patient was now experiencing gastrointestinal issues.  We both agreed we had the ball rolling, but certainly had more work to do.

What followed over the next few months included food sensitivity testing which led to further dietary modifications, an adrenal salivary index test (ASI) which identified that her stress glands (the adrenal glands) were bordering on outright exhaustion creating a slew of blood sugar and hormonal issues as well as playing a major role in the unrestful and disturbed sleep, the suspicion and ultimately results driven confirmation of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), a skin infection that prompted the use of anti-biotics and temporary derailment of the plan and progress, and a handful of modifications to each month’s plan.

The other imperative variable in this entire process was the desire for change, and the patience and faith in the process exhibited by Susan.  This approach is not for everyone and not experiencing an immediate result, or even more, a set- back has the potential to derail many.  Changing your lifestyle and nursing the body back to help with the use of diet and targeted natural supplements may sound better on paper, but is truly the more challenging path to take as opposed to a fast acting pill for each symptom.  The focus here is on the big picture.  It is on the long term sustainment of a better quality of life, without the use of side effect laden medications, and ultimately with minimal supplemental support as well.     

It has been a little over 6 months since we have had the challenging pleasure of collaborating with Susan and today she and those closest to her are beaming with her newfound and originally coveted zest for life.  She is sleeping 7-8 hours per night and the fatigue has lifted substantially. The brain fog is still nowhere to be found.  The gastrointestinal issues are no longer an issue.  Most importantly Susan can get back to living the life she wants to live, which has recently included getting back in the gym 3 times per week, 6+ mile hikes with the family in the Georgia Mountains, and accepting a fulfilling, yet demanding position at her place of employment.  She notes that those around her, who were at times understandably skeptical about the process, are amazed and even jealous of her progress and newfound control over the quality of her life.

We are now in a phase of weaning off the supplements utilized to revive the adrenals and heal and seal the gut, and Susan is only presenting every month or so when she feels she needs an adjustment and soft tissue work, which is fine by us.

 

Nancy M: Widespread Joint Pain, Chronic Sinusitis, Fatigue, Mental Fog, GERD:

Chronic Sinusitis, GERD, Joint Pain, Fatigue, Mental Fog; on an undeniable path towards Diabetes & Obesity (coupled with 20+ years of routine steroids, antibiotics and a deteriorating quality of life.)

Your fate is not sealed. Rewrite your story.

Nancy M.’s story:

Nancy originally presented with a complaint of neck discomfort. During the consultation, we began to discuss some of the other issues that Nancy had been dealing with for decades.

She described a life of chronic sinusitis, many of which were fungal sinus infections, chronic GERD that had her concerned about causing further problems due to the associated damage to her esophagus, widespread joint pain, mental fog, fatigue, and blood sugar elevation with associated weight gain.

In conjunction with these and other issues, Nancy touched on her journey from one specialist to the next and the eventual settling on the current treatment regimen which involved managing symptoms through routine use of steroids and antibiotics every 2-3 months.

Being a healthcare professional herself, she appeared somewhat skeptical to what a chiropractor may have to offer her in regards to these non neck issues. However, having endured these ailments, along with the side effects of these harsh medications for 20+ years, she was willing to give it a shot.

“I was willing to try anything once. I was told that my liver was slightly enlarged from decades of medications. That was the wake up call I needed to stop treating all the ailments and begin the journey of discovering why I had so many inflammatory issues, and put an end to the causes. However, it was only Dr. Clarke that took the time to listen and offer alternatives to get to the root of the problem,” Nancy added.

What ensued was a disciplined demonstration of dramatic dietary modification, an extensive individually specific supplemental regimen, lifestyle alterations, and an openness and patience allowing true to change to begin to take place.

The results were truly a testament to her own determination and to the power of correcting the underlying dysfunction, allowing the body to function properly.

Arthritic joint pain was all but gone.

Energy and mental clarity were drastically improved.

The heartburn and indigestion was dramatically reduced provided she stay away from certain trigger foods, which we were able to identify through an elimination/provocation diet and subsequent food sensitivity testing.

The taxing chronic sinusitis which had her routinely taking systemically destructive steroids every 2-3 months was also dramatically reduced to the point that she stopped taking the steroids. (That bares repeating. After 20+ years of being told that these steroids were her best option, SHE STOPPED TAKING THEM!). Even her most well respected specialist was amazed and advised her to keep doing what she was doing.

And with energy levels rising and blood sugar levels now being roped in by a different diet and no longer being effected by the steroids, she was able to drop 24 pounds, (and counting.)

Nancy explains, “I think it is important for others to know that it was not an overnight success. It took three weeks on the initial elimination diet for the diminishing signs of inflammation (in sinuses, arthritis, & GERD) to become apparent. It also took the advice and guidance from you, a personal commitment on my part, and the support of my family and friends.
I often say to others as I tell them my story; We are always advised to invest financially for our future retirement, BUT….by taking the advice from you, reading the book, Wheat Belly, and embarking on the journey of changing our diet and maintaining a gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and sugar free diet, we are essentially investing in our health so that we may live a long healthy life and enjoy our retirement!”

Well put.

The main point here is that hope does exist. You don’t have to settle.
Thankfully the information is out there and with that exists many forward thinking, functionally orientated healthcare practitioners to guide you on your journey, and break free of the endless downward spiral of symptom care.
It’s not just the quantity of your life that matters, but the quality that is of equal importance.
Make a decision to change.
Come up with a plan.
Practice discipline like that displayed by Nancy.
Take a proactive role in changing your life for the better…and do it TODAY

Jack Stukonis, Lifelong Heartburn:

I first began to notice my issues with heartburn and digestion when I was going to high school.  My father being the manly man he is always told me he had the same issues and to suck it up. For years I lived every single day thinking I just had to suck it up because being in this pain was a part of life.  Fast forward 10 years and I was invited to a networking group where I was introduced to Dr. Clarke.  Historically my family has always been more skeptical of doctors and would only utilize them in emergencies, such as a broken bone or an infection.  Because it was a lunch meeting I went ahead and ordered the deep fried lasagna.  I mean come on, how could I not? It’s deep fried after all.

During that meeting I had heartburn the entire time. The host of this networking group, his wife stood up and gave her testimonial for Dr Clarke. This was the first time I thought I should even consider getting help for my pain. After exchanging cards I contacted him and went for an evaluation. At our initial consult he didn’t just prescribe me some heartburn medicine and send me on my way, he wanted to get to the root of my problem. After explaining my family history, my diet, and my lifestyle, he flat out asked if I ever considered I might be sensitive to gluten. He was right, I never considered I might have a sensitivity to gluten. I almost went into denial… how could I give up pasta, bread, tortillas, BEER?  After our meeting was done I agreed to try his diet. 30 days of no gluten all while taking some natural supplements to heal and seal my digestive system. I would be lying if I said it was easy. I first went home and gave everything that contained gluten to my dad (after all he didn’t mind sucking up the pain). After 30 days was done I lost 20 pounds, had more energy, and didn’t have even a little bit of pain.  No more heartburn… no more revisiting my last meal. I felt great.

Since the 30 day diet ended I went back to drinking beer and having some bread sparingly. I no longer have issues with my digestion and I read the ingredients of everything I consume.

If I wouldn’t have found Dr Clarke I would still to this day be suffering in silence to this day.

Colleen R. Daley, Chronic Migraines:

The initial reason for my visit to Dr. Clarke was to get back into regular chiropractic care. I have been suffering from migraines which at times had been debilitating. After the initial visit with Dr. Clarke, we started to discuss my regular diet and habits. After many questions, he talked with me regarding my regular daily consumption of Diet Mountain Dew. Dr. Clarke did some research and together we started to look at the amount of aspartame that I ingested on any given day as I was also drinking bottled water with flavor packets mixed in (another source of aspartamane). Dr. Clarke asked me to try and “cut” back on my intake of the Diet Mountain Dew which I did. After about 3 weeks, I was not drinking the soft drink any more and noticed a significant drop in the number of migraines and break through headaches that I was experiencing. I have not drank diet soft drinks in three months time, and I have had 1 headache in that time period. I was apparently being poisoned by the aspartame that I was ingesting on a daily basis.

I have been treated by medical doctors and a neurologist for my migraines since 1998 and Dr. Clarke has been the only one to have figured out the main triggers of my migraines. I was taking a daily preventative to keep the migraines “at bay”, but I have not taken the medication in over a month’s time.

I am very grateful to Dr. Clarke! Without his perserverance and at times intense questioning; I would not be migraine-free. I do still get headaches but nothing like before.

 

Susie Meltzer, Hamstring/Piriformis & Shoulder:

I originally came to Dr. Clarke for what seemed to be a high-hamstring / piriformis –type running injury. Dr. Clarke performed an extensive neurological exam during the first appointment and performed the first A.R.T. treatment on the affected area. He also performed this same treatment on subsequent appointments, as well as prescribing specific exercises for increased core strength, and my problem is GONE.

For all the runners out there: “GONE” means that I’m not feeling this when I run and I’m not feeling it during warm-up or cool-down. This pesky and common issue is GONE.

Sadly I did not find Dr. Clarke in the five weeks prior to the Boston Marathon this year and ran that event with this issue. I hope this testimonial reaches others who could greatly benefit from his treatment protocol.

On another happy note: I’m extremely thrilled to know that he can fix this issue if it ever rears its ugly head again or, as importantly, if any of my friends begin to experience this same issue.

Item #2: I also had a nearly “frozen” left shoulder – something that I was fearful to address with my pcp because I was concerned that surgery would be suggested. I happened to bring this up to Dr. Clarke while he was working on the first item and … he fixed this item, too, via ART and a few prescribed exercise drills to be completed at home.

 

Stefen Turner, Low Back Pain:

Foundation Training by Dr. Clarke – I’ve had lower back spasms for a while now. They come and go. They never are brought on by exertion but usually by the simplest act of just sitting down or getting out of a chair. Sometimes it’s just a simple spasm on the right side that’s gone a second later, and sometimes it will be severe enough to cause debilitating pain that can last for days.

My work involves SITTING at a computer 8-12 hours a day, and as a result, I have learned through Dr. Clarke’s insight that a lot of bad things can happen to your lower back muscles as a result of this if you don’t counter the sitting with healthy exercise that keeps the posterior chain of muscles in the lower back strong and flexible, and able to support the spine in proper alignment.

Previous to visiting Dr, Clarke, I consulted with various MD’s, physical therepist and chiropractors, all without much of a successful outcome.

Dr Clarke has a different approach to dealing with the problem than I ever encountered before. Of course he uses traditional chiropractic techniques but he also is a proponent of addressing the posterior chain of mucles in your lower back with exercise techniques referred to as FOUNDATION TRAINING developed by another chiropractor, Dr. Eric Goodman, and it really seems to make a difference.

For some reason, not many people, including those in the medical community are aware of these exercise techniques, and considering how many people are afflicted with various forms of back pain, I think it’s rather surprising, but I’m glad Dr. Clarke is.

If you’ve seen a good MD and x-rays have ruled out serious issues, chances are that Foundation Training can be the ticket, and Dr. Clarke can help you get started. Besides, he’s a dedicated doctor, really compassionate about helping his patients, and happens to be a hell of a nice guy.

 

Jay Claybaugh, Lumbar Disc Herniations

Constant, unrelenting lower back pain brought me to Dr. Clarke.  The pain prevented me from activities I loved such as running but also interfered in daily activities such as simply sitting in a chair, standing more than short periods, bending down, getting in and out of the car, or just simply trying to sleep at night.  The occasional cough or sneeze was something to be feared and dreaded.  Prior to this, I consulted an orthopedic surgeon who ordered an MRI that indicated a herniated disc was most likely the cause.  His recommendation was surgery.  I checked around and found mixed anecdotal reviews on the effectiveness of the surgeries and decided to look at alternatives including physical therapy, acupuncture, another chiropractor, and various exercises and stretches.  I had very little success at improving my condition.

Dr. Clarke offered various treatments both at his office and suggestions (homework) to do on my own.  For me, the most successful appeared to be a combination of stretching the back (flexion & distraction) to “get everything back in place” and back strengthening exercises from the Foundation Training.

The result wasn’t immediate but I continued to improve with the occasional setback.  Each week was better and each setback wasn’t as bad and took less time to recover.  Today I would categorize the pain as occasional and low in pain level, almost at the nuisance level (although I hope to get past that as well).

 

Roseanne Bessenaire, Low Back/Gluteal & Proximal Hamstring

My initial reason for going to Clarke Chiropractic and Wellness was to find out if I could get rid of a pain in my back/ butt that was bothering me for about 1 year. I like to run and found myself running then sitting on ice and taking Advil . I am a Physical Therapist and thought I could figure out my own problem but…..( no pun intended) I couldn’t make the pain go away. Dr. Clarke’s assessment was right on! He found the imbalance and weakness that was the cause. Through adjustments, soft tissue work, exercises and feedback on what I was doing right and wrong the pain is now gone. I am now pain free and running is fun again. I would highly recommend anyone with pain to seek the opinion, assessment and treatment of Dr Clarke. I found him to be kind, respectful and a gem of a chiropractor!
 
 Josh LeBlanc, Migraines:

 Dr Clarke! Thank you so much for helping me out with my migraines. I have changed up my diet, as you suggested and it has helped a lot! I eat as clean as possible, cutting out dairy, wheat and gluten products. It’s an on going battle because, as everyone knows, it’s easier to eat fast and cheap but I’m convinced that cleaning up my diet, stretching as often as possible and also making a little time for myself (meditation) has helped a lot!  Add some heart pumping exercise in there and you have a winning combination.
Thanks again!!

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